Microsoft and Softimage Team Up to Stamp Out Software Piracy

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 4, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has filed two lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles related to the illegal posting of Softimage® and Microsoft® software on download sites on the Internet.

Both lawsuits were filed July 30, 1997, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and are the result of a worldwide campaign focusing on the piracy of Softimage’s flagship 3-D animation software. Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, is based in Montreal, Quebec. The company, which was founded in 1986, develops software for media-rich applications such as video, film, interactive games and CD-ROM applications. Products include Softimage 3D (high-end animation), Softimage Eddie (compositing) and Toonz (2-D cel animation).

The first lawsuit involves an individual in Burbank, Calif., Caleb Shay, who is charged with copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement for allegedly posting an illegal copy of Softimage 3D version 3.7 for downloading at an Internet site.

In the second case, the unidentified defendant made available for downloading illegal copies of Softimage and Microsoft products including Softimage 3D version 3.7 for the Windows NT® operating system and Microsoft SQL Server
™
. According to the lawsuit, Microsoft and Softimage are charging the unidentified defendant with several offenses, including copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement. Microsoft has taken legal steps to have the defendant identified through his Internet service provider, Ulink.net of Santa Monica, Calif.

“We are extremely pleased that Microsoft is joining us in this worldwide software anti-piracy campaign,” said Hugues Leveille Nizerolle, director of worldwide sales for Softimage. “This will enable us to better protect the investment our customers and our resellers make in our products.”

As part of this effort, last month, police in Sao Paulo, Brazil, charged three individuals, Falavio Soares Guedes, Mateus da Costa Meira, and Edielson Ferreira da Mota with copyright infringement relating specifically to the Brazilian Software Law of 1987. All three individuals were charged with selling counterfeit copies of Softimage 3D for Windows NT 3.51 through a local Brazilian newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo.

“Internet piracy and counterfeit CD-ROMs are the dominant piracy problems for Softimage 3D,” said Jim Lowe, corporate attorney at Microsoft. “We are actively surfing the Net and purchasing suspect CD-ROMs to target these types of thieves.”

Softimage has added an e-mail notification system to its anti-piracy efforts, piracy@softimage.com, enabling people to send inquiries or leads regarding the illegal copying, duplication, sale or distribution of Softimage products. Customers or resellers with questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products should contact the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline, (800) RU-LEGIT (785-3448), or send e-mail to piracy@microsoft.com.

Microsoft receives more than 2,000 calls each month that are reviewed by investigators to identify computer retailers and end users who are using or distributing Microsoft software illegally. In addition to increasing enforcement efforts, Microsoft is working hard to warn consumers that pirated software obtained from the Internet may be damaged or contain incomplete programs and could include computer viruses. Pirated software also does not include technical support or product updates. For more information about software piracy, call the Business Software Alliance (BSA) Anti-Piracy Hotline at (888) NO PIRACY (667-4722) or send e-mail to software@bsa.org .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Softimage is a registered trademark of Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Additional information about Softimage is available at http://www.softimage.com/ .

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